Space to Walk: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Laying out grounds may be considered a liberal art, in some sort like poetry and painting. Wordsworth

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I try to get to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine, every year around this time for their annual plant sale. The sale offers native plants, plants from Fedco and two Fedco reps there to answer questions about them, and lots of other perennials, many of which you can see in CMBG’s gardens, plus some herbs and veggies.

I was particularly hoping for a ‘Cherries Jubilee” baptisia (see here with other baptisias):

BaptisiaCherriesJubileeCMBG12June2015 baptisiayellowredpurpleCMBG12June2015… but there were none at the sale, only some ‘Screaming Yellow’ baptisias and the standard blue Baptisia australis. I was also looking for nut shrubs and perennial edibles and struck out there, too, though I did get some climbing spinach that looks very rugged. I also bought a Kirengeshoma palmata (yellow wax-bells), a favourite of mine for the shade garden — we had three when we lived in inland Maine 15 yrs ago; an Aruncus dioicus ‘Kneiffii’ (cutleaf goatsbeard); two Hakonechloa macra (Japanese forest grass) for shade; and two sweet cicely — I think, based on how the leaf looks, that they’re Myrrhis odorata and not the native Osmorhiza longistylis but the tag had only the common name.

Over three days, I spent about 10 hours at the Gardens, enjoying the kinetic sculpture exhibit, the blooms, the trees and foliage, the ponds, the paths, and the woodland trails, as well as savouring three lunches in the Cafe, where the food and service are excellent (but the process for getting seated is still confusing and inefficient).

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A little photo tour, below:

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Kinetic Sculptures by George Sherwood

Memory of Fibonacci, with ornamental rhubarb in front
Memory of Fibonacci, with ornamental rhubarb in front
Wave Cloud with shadow
Wave Cloud with shadow
Wave Cloud close, looking through it to sky
Wave Cloud close, looking through it to sky
TuBe or Not TuBe, with Memory of Fibonacci in background
TuBe or Not TuBe, with Memory of Fibonacci in background
Puff
Puff
Flock of Birds, I think
Flock of Birds, I think
Memory of Water
Memory of Water
Memory of Water close
Memory of Water close

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 Peonies

Peony 'Magical Mystery Tour'
Peony ‘Magical Mystery Tour’
Peony 'First Arrival'
Peony ‘First Arrival’
yellow tree peony
yellow tree peony

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 Critters

Wolf sculpture by Wendy Klemperer
Wolf sculpture by Wendy Klemperer
Porcupine by Wendy Klemperer
Porcupine by Wendy Klemperer
dragonfly with green shadow
dragonfly with green shadow
spouting whales
spouting whales
frog in Giles Rhodo Grden
frog in Giles Rhodo Garden
tadpole in children's pond
tadpole in children’s pond
frog in duckweed in Slater forest pond
frog in duckweed in Slater forest pond
The Codfather by Steve Lindsay
The Codfather by Steve Lindsay
elk or deer by Wendy Klemperer
elk? and Running Deer by Wendy Klemperer
another wolf by Wendy Klemperer
another wolf by Wendy Klemperer
bunny with 'Angelina' sedum
bunny with ‘Angelina’ sedum

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Cafe, edibles, gift shop:

cafe table
cafe table
special cocktails
special cocktails
Love Potion #9 - delicious!
Love Potion #9 – delicious!
one entrance to gift shop
one entrance to gift shop
greens growing
greens growing
vertical gardens with herbs, annuals, sedums
vertical gardens with herbs, annuals, sedums
a lot of parsley in this vertical bed
a lot of parsley in this vertical bed
veggie garden and greenhouse in Children's Garden
veggie garden and greenhouse in Children’s Garden

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Some favourite plants:

lupine and yellow baptisia
lupine and yellow baptisia
larch overhanging Lerner 5 Senses Garden
larch overhanging Lerner 5 Senses Garden
ferns and 'Silver Beacon' lamium
ferns and ‘Silver Beacon’ lamium
'Gold Rush' Dawn redwood tree
‘Gold Rush’ Dawn redwood tree
Dr. Seuss-like spruces
Dr. Seuss-like spruces
'Firewitch' dianthus and variegated iris foliage
‘Firewitch’ dianthus and variegated iris foliage
'Axminster Gold' comfrey
‘Axminster Gold’ comfrey
'Black Sprite' centaurea
‘Black Sprite’ centaurea
blue iris and chartreuse fern
blue iris and chartreuse fern
Cornuses: 'Ivory Halo' dogwood and bunchberry
Cornuses: ‘Ivory Halo’ dogwood and bunchberry
giant purple alliums
giant purple alliums
mass of Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman's Root)
mass of Gillenia trifoliata (Bowman’s Root)
mosses
mosses
Salvia 'Caradonna' and chives
Salvia ‘Caradonna’ and chives
Rodgersia 'Fireworks'
Rodgersia ‘Fireworks’
'Angelica' sedum
‘Angelina’ sedum
I love these mushrooms growing with the coleus in the vertical beds
I love these mushrooms growing with the coleus in the vertical beds

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Waterlilies and pond plantings:

twopinkwaterliliessmallpondCMBG14June2015
pinkwaterlilybCMBG12June2015
pondplantingsCMBG12June2015
pondnewbridgethroughyellowsedumCMBG12June2015

children playing in Slater forest pond, with 'Turns' kinetic sculpture
children playing in Slater forest pond, with ‘Turns’ kinetic sculpture

stonesacrosswaterchildrensgardenCMBG13June2015
bearislandChildrensGardenCMBG13June2015

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The Giles Rhododendron Garden:

viewthrupurplerhododendronstowaterfallCMBG12June2015 viewofwaterfallGilesRhodoGardenCMBG12June2015 waterfallGilesRhodoGardenCMBG12June2015 topofwaterfallGilesRhodoGardenCMBG12June2015 rhododendronCMBG12June2015 pathwithrailingGilesRhodoGardenCMBG12June2015(Did I mention the waterfall?)

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Trails and Pathways:

woodsy trail
woodsy trail
so many Lady's Slippers
so many Lady’s Slippers
Indian cucumber root, goldthread
Indian cucumber root, goldthread
Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)
Linnaea borealis (Twinflower)
fern, clover, star flower around tree trunk
fern, oxalis, star flower around tree trunk
swampy area along trail
swampy area along trail
more woodsy trail
more woodsy trail
motion camera off hillside trail
motion camera off hillside trail
wood-chipped Maine Trail
wood-chipped Maine Trail
labyrinth in Children's Garden
labyrinth in Children’s Garden
I love this pathway
I love this pathway
path by meditation garden with Japanese lantern and view of Back River
path by meditation garden with Japanese lantern and view of Back River
entrance to Lerner Garden of the Five Senses
entrance to Lerner Garden of the Five Senses
bluestone and large stones
bluestone and large stones
path through amsonia and carex grasses
path through amsonia and carex grasses
stone pathway
stone pathway
new bridge over the big pond
new bridge over the big pond
dock at The Landing on Back River
dock at The Landing on Back River

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The Fairy House Village (now with stone!)

driftwoodWelcomeAllFairyHouseVillageCMBG14June2015 stoneareaFairyHouseVillageCMBG14June2015 stoneareadetailFairyHouseVillageCMBG14June2015

circle design with shell in center
circle design with shell in center
dedication stone spiral detail
dedication stone spiral detail

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Lovely Landscapes:

‘All gardening is landscape painting.’ —  Alexander Pope

Memory of Fibonacci with ornamental rhubarb
Memory of Fibonacci with ornamental rhubarb
Back River view
Back River view
landscape and 'Surf' kinetic sculpture
landscape and ‘Surf’ kinetic sculpture
landscape near labyrinth
landscape near labyrinth
Visitors Center through plantings
Visitors Center through plantings

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Always beautiful, and I remember 15 years ago when most of it was just a notion.

This photo was taken in 2005, when there was a kiosk, a few trails, and this bench by the river:

rock by river, 2005
rock by river, 2005

And this one in July 2007, when some of the garden had been designed and installed but the planting was minimal.

main garden, July 2007
main garden, July 2007

It’s amazing what people with a vision, passion, creativity, commitment, and a lot of money can do in a few short years.

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“One of the functions of landscape is to correspond to, nurture, and provoke exploration of the landscape of the imagination. Space to walk is also space to think, and I think that’s one thing landscapes give us: places to think longer, more uninterrupted thoughts or thoughts to a rhythm other than the staccato of navigating the city.” ― Rebecca Solnit, Storming the Gates of Paradise: Landscapes for Politics

 

4 Comments on “Space to Walk: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

  1. Hi,

    My name is Huong and I’m writing from Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners to inquire about the copyright of one of your images in this post – Blue iris and chartreuse ferns. We would like to use it to create an etching for signage in our newly designed park. We would be grateful if you could get back to us as soon as possible with your decision along with what contact details you would like for us to use. Please feel free get back to me with any questions regarding material, project or context via email. Thank you very much for your help.

    Best regards,
    Huong Dinh.

  2. Pingback: No-Frills Flagship – BEYOND RIVALRY

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